How to get a job in Formula 1 – Engineer, mechanic, hospitality & more
Getting a job in Formula 1 is the dream for many, but what jobs are there and how do you get one? Click here to find out what jobs are in F1, and how you can get one.
Working in Formula 1 is a dream for many people, with the glitz, glamour and speed of the premier motorsport series being too much to resist. Luckily for those people there are a wide range of jobs available in Formula 1, with something to suit any experience and skillset.
To find out more about the jobs in Formula 1, as well as how to get them, read below.
Nikita Mazepin, Haas F1, and Ayao Komatsu, Haas Chief Engineer, on the grid
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: Good engineering degree at a minimum, though a Master’s or PhD helps
• Skills: Good communication
Engineering is a large part of a Formula 1 team, and as such there are many different paths an engineer can take in F1. Whether it’s working with a driver to ensure they have the car set up to their needs, analysing the data to create the perfect race strategy, ensuring the car itself runs as it should do, or something else entirely, there are many engineering roles.
While these different roles require different skills and knowledge bases, there are several things that will always help when looking for an engineering role – a degree in an engineering field, good knowledge of maths and science.
For more information on different engineering roles, click on our interviews with some of Haas F1 Team’s engineers below:
• Ayao Komatsu – Director of Engineering
• Dominic Haines – Race Engineer
• Edward Regan – Performance Engineer
• Mike Caulfield – Strategy Engineer
• David Sloan – Controls Engineer
• Julien Simon-Chautemps - Race Engineer
• Adam Ludgate - Aero Design Engineer
• Won Ju - Composite Design Engineer
• Rebecca Wilson - Senior Aerodynamicist
• Mark Stiles - Brake Duct Design Engineer
Mechanics at work in the Mercedes garage
Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: No specific qualifications necessary, though they can help. Experience and knowledge are important though
• Skills: Mechanical knowledge will help
Mechanics play a vital role in Formula 1, and are responsible for working on the cars. This is arguably as up close and personal as a non-driver can get with an F1 car, and unlike many other roles in F1 there are no specific degrees or qualifications that will help you into the job, with skills, experience and knowledge being the important qualities employers look for. This can make it difficult though, and you’ll likely have to do some work for free in the lower tiers to gain that crucial knowledge and experience.
To find out more about being a mechanic in Formula 1, read our interview with Nikita Mazepin’s No.1 Mechanic below:
Pirelli technicians work on some tyres
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: GCSEs help, but there are no formal qualifications
• Skills: Adaptability
Garage technicians are the jack of all trades of a Formula 1 team, assisting in everything from moving shipping containers to preparing tyres and more. They are the antithesis to a lot of roles in F1 – while engineers, strategists and mechanics are hyper-focused on one thing, a technician’s role is diverse.
As the job is so varied and can change from minute to minute, there’s no formal qualifications required – experience is much more valuable. You also need to be adaptable and able to swap focus to help with whatever needs to be done at the time, making this a fun and engaging job for people who enjoy not having a strict schedule of work.
To find out more about the role a technician plays in a Formula 1 team, read our interviews below:
Andrew Scrowther, CNC Machinist, McLaren
Photo by: McLaren
• Qualifications: Varies, though experience on different machines is useful
• Skills: Maths, being a team player
While machinists don’t go to the races, they play a crucial part in a Formula 1 team – creating the parts for the cars. Without skilled machinists teams would have no cars to race with, so the job of a CNC operator is one which requires good maths skills and a hands-on attitude.
Computer skills are also a must for any machinist, as much of the job is programming the machines to cut to the precise measurements that F1 teams use, rather than manually cutting things themselves.
For anyone who enjoys maths and being more hands-on, machining could be a rewarding career.
To find out more about the role a CNC Machinist plays in a Formula 1 team, read our interview with McLaren CNC Machinist Andrew Scrowther below:
Haas team hospitality area
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: Varies depending on the type of role
• Skills: Good communication and planning
Formula 1 teams don’t just run like clockwork – they need a team of people behind the scenes to make sure that everything goes to plan. Whether you’re making sure an entire team gets to a race on time (and has the proper paperwork too), ensuring that your guests and sponsors are fully catered for, or coordinating other aspects of the team, it’s a crucial part of an F1 team.
If planning and organisation are your strong suits, you might find coordinating a rewarding career.
To find out more about the role of a coordinator in a Formula 1 team, read our interviews below:
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Photo by: Sam Bagnall / Motorsport Images
- Qualifications: No specific qualifications
- Skills: Organisation, communication skills
Photographing the pinnacle of motorsport is a dream for many amateur photographers, but what does it take to get to F1? What skills, qualifications and equipment do you need?
To find out what it takes to be a Formula 1 photographer we spoke to Mark Sutton - Senior Photographer at Motorsport Images - to get his insight.
• Qualifications: Nothing strictly required, but a degree in a related field will help
• Skills: Design, some knowledge of motorsport
You’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s no room for creativity in the data-driven world of Formula 1, but it’s a very important part of the team. Whether it’s designing liveries, doing video and photoshoots, running social media or even designing the car’s livery, creatives have a role in F1.
To find out more about the creative roles in Formula 1, we spoke to Jess McFadyen about how to become a Social Media Director, and Ryan Long about how to become a Creative Services Manager:
A Ferrari mechanic pushes a trolley of tyres in the paddock
Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: No specific qualifications required
• Skills: Strong people skills, relationship building, ability to negotiate
Not all jobs in a Formula 1 team require a specialised degree – some only need people skills and the ability to build relationships. A buyer is one of those jobs.
Buyers ensure that the team has everything they need to run – from shipping cars and parts to races to tyre trolleys to catering and even merchandise, buyers procure the items that help the team run (and get the best price for it as well).
There are no specific qualifications you need to be a buyer, so it can be a great way to get into F1 without having to go to university.
We talked to Haas’ Samantha O’Gorman to find out more about the role a buyer plays in Formula 1:
Bradley Lord, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: Journalism or PR degrees typically
• Skills: Initiative, adaptability, passion
Formula 1 team and driver communication is carefully monitored by both the media and the organisations involved, and you’ll regularly see team personnel standing next to a driver with a dictaphone to record everything they say. The message they put out in any communication is carefully curated, with teams being a central focus point in this process in F1.
Of course someone has to coordinate all of this communication, and that’s the responsibility of the Head of Communications.
Luke Smith, Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
Photo by: Uncredited
• Qualifications: No specific qualifications, though a journalism degree can help
• Skills: Good communication, people skills, strong work ethic
Formula 1 journalism can seem like the perfect job for anyone with an interest in motorsport and writing.
With the potential for a lot of traveling and races happening on weekends, it's not a job for someone who's looking for a steady 9-5, however it can be a very rewarding job that allows you to explore your passion.
To find out more about how to become a Formula 1 journalist, read our interview with Luke Smith below:
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1, Franz Tost, Team Principal, AlphaTauri, and Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
• Qualifications: No specific qualifications
• Skills: Decisive, good communication, passion
While a Formula 1 team might be made of hundreds or thousands of employees, there has to be one person leading them all towards the same goal – and that’s the Team Principal. Gunther Steiner started his Formula 1 career in 2001, and in his time has worked for Jaguar, Red Bull and, since 2014, Haas F1 Team.
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